Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Times They Are A Changin'....

"We also practice what to do during drive-by shootings."

So sayeth the elderly lady who I was chatting with, while standing in her yard, along with 3 of her grandchildren.

I was volunteering with the American Red Cross yesterday morning, passing out free smoke alarms and batteries to houses in what we refer to as the "inner-city" of Kansas City. Besides the alarms and batteries, I was also dispensing out fire safety advice - ensuring that everyone knows how to escape out of their house in case it was on fire.

I had asked the grandma and her grandkids if they practice regular fire drills, and she had replied in the affirmative...

And had then hit me with the above bombshell.

I was gobsmacked.

"We HAVE to in this neighborhood," she went on. "Why, there was a shooting right over there just last week." She points to a house a little further down the block.

The kids then chimed in with the 9-year old saying, "Yeah, I was playing outside and I remembered what Grandma said - so I hit the deck and crawled to cover."

Grandma replied, "I was so proud of them. They KNOW to quit playing and get low."

Again. I was gobsmacked.

And it resonated with me during the rest of the day, replaying that conversation over and over in my mind.

What kind of a world do we live in when children have to practice being safe from drive-by shootings in a city in America?

I remember being 9-years old...playing outside with my friends in driveways and yards until the streetlights came on - my signal to get my butt home before my mom would start yelling for me. If I wasn't home before she called for me - I knew I was in big trouble.

And that's the only thing I worried about then. Being home before Mama had to call for me. Making sure I saw those streetlights come on.

I didn't worry about drive-by shootings.

Isn't that sad?

I'm not only sad, but I'm angry. Angry at what our society has become. Angry that I feel helpless in changing it.

Angry that little kids in my own city practice drive-by shooting safety.

Peace...I really do MEAN's not just a sign-off that I use every time I blog.

It's a fervent hope - a fervent prayer - that peace will come to our our neighborhoods...

And most our children.




Mental P Mama said...

So horrific the lives that innocent children are living right in our own back yards. Horrific.

Lu's Place said...

Well that brought tears to my eyes. My grandchildren would think I was crazy if I told them that. How fortunate I/they are that they live in a different city.